Wednesday, February 4, 2015

EMvTW Special 01 - Deep Space 9 (Nor Class)

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

Editor's Update: I started my collection of Eaglemoss ships later than other collectors in the United States.  As such, I was a bit behind everyone else and I had held off purchasing the specials for quite a while.  By the time I got around to writing this review, a year had passed since I got into the collecting and reviewing of these models.

I have now covered a year's worth of Eaglemoss ships and have decided to take a slight detour of sorts to cover the special edition ships in thier lineup.  At the time of this writing, there currently are three.  And unlike my last Eaglemoss vs. The World article, this one has more than one manufacturer to show off.

The first of these special ships is not a ship at all, but rather a space station.  I am of course talking about Deep Space 9 which is the main location for the series of the same name, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine".


My Deep Space 9 collection currently consists of an Eaglemoss, a Furuta, a Hallmark and a MicroMachine model.


Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "Deep Space 9, originally known as Terok Nor, was one of the most historically, politically, and strategically important space stations in the Alpha Quadrant during the latter half of the 24th century. The space station was constructed by the Cardassians in orbit of Bajor during their occupation of the planet. Under Federation administration, following the Cardassian withdrawal, the station was relocated into the Bajoran system's Denorios belt. There DS9 became a vital commercial port and defensive outpost due to its location near the mouth of the Bajoran wormhole. It later became a key strategic location during the Dominion War, for both the Dominion and the Federation Alliance."

If you would like to read more official stuff on this type of ship, feel free to check out the following links:

Nor Class Information: Memory Beta LINK and No Memory Alpha LINK
Deep Space 9 Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

As you saw in my collection photo, MicroMachine was able to produce a version of the station.

 

I was actually impressed with thier rendition.  The show model of the station is a bit intricate and Galoob did a nice job trying to replicate those details with such a small version.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

As I started getting into collecting and wanting to expand my collection, I found a serious lack of  comparative data out there showing the various small scale pre-built and pre-painted ships available to the collector.  And so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

And now, time for what I call the "Gravy Shot" which is the ultimate purpose of this article. 

 Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

Eaglemoss and Hallmark are very close in size, although they each have thier own unique traits.  The one big notable differences between the these two are that Hallmark's model comes with a base while Eaglemoss does not.  The Hallmark one can also support auxiliary ships which could be purchased separately.  AND Hallmark's model also lights up... sort of...

The poor Furuta model looks dwarfed by those other two models.  In fact, the Furuta model is only slightly larger than the MicroMachine model.

 MicroMachine vs. Furuta

MicroMachine vs. Furuta

With those comparisons out of the way, let us take a closer look at the main three models.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 

There are not that many angles of this space station to show off.  It is however, a very well done model.  It has a lot of die cast metal in it, making it rather heavy.  It is the first of the Eaglemoss models to come without a stand, however, she sits squarely on her lower docking pylons.  I'm on the fence on whether I like the fact that she doesn't have a stand, however, since my review is about the model itself, I won't take points away for this.

From a distance, the model just looks plain and uninteresting.  Up close though is where you can see the true attention to details that Eaglemoss has put into this thing.  

The sculpted and molded details all over this model are intricate and just downright simply amazing to look at.  Eaglemoss went all out in thier detailing of the little but yet important areas of the station, like docking ports, panels and runabout landing pads.  In fact, you can clearly make out the promenade windows on the central hub, and they even detailed the sensor arrays on the station.


The fusion reactor on the bottom of this model is a thing of beauty.  Although they didn't use thier traditional clear red plastics, thier paint work does a great job of highlighting the important areas.


The paint work on this model is just as great as the molded work.  I love the fact that Eaglemoss chose to paint all of those tiny windows on the habitat ring.


This station is meant to serve as a transfer station of sort, as such, it is equipped with lots of docking ports on the outer docking ring.  Those docking ports are rendered out with great mold work and enough of a color difference to make them stand out.


While this outer docking ring is highly detailed both from the sculpted details and painted details, it can't measure up to these highly detailed upper and lower docking pylons.

 

As far as finding the joins and seams, they are blended well into the model.  Great work there Eaglemoss.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The next paragraph of my Eaglemoss review was originally written back in February 2015.  Since then, Eaglemoss has made some vast improvements for those who order directly from the store.  Since I have not been a subscriber in a number of years, I still can not speak for how they treat those members of it's "club".  I would love to hear in the comment about how they are doing with timely "special" deliveries these days.

One of the lessons I learned from my collecting of Eaglemoss ships is that the specials are a harder item to get via the subscription.  I read horror stories of it taking months to get this model after paying for it.  There have also been stories of it being broken when it arrives.  I opted to buy mine outside of the Eaglemoss subscription service from a third party.  I probably paid about $10 more for it, but I didn't have any waiting for it.  Since that worked out so well for me, I went this route and ordered the next two through the same source.  The other plus side of doing it this way was I didn't have to wait until they decided I could buy it.

Furuta

 
 
 

I have made it a habit now, that when I review a Furuta model, I point out that Furuta is a Japanese company that produced a series of gashapon toys.  Gashapon toys are meant to be nothing more than cheap little $1 to $5 bubble gum machine prizes.  I want to remind my readers of this fact so that they can take any critical reviews I may make in the spirit it is given.  I am in no way expecting these toys to be on the level of a Hallmark, Eaglemoss or Hot Wheels toy.  I found a neat video about these types of toys and you can check that out at THIS LINK.

The molded details are... OK.  While the model has all the key elements, like the command level of the central core, these details are out of proportion.


The painted on details are kind of lacking.  The overall look and feel is just kind of blah.  I think Furuta used all of three colors to paint this thing with.  The lack of red on the reactor core just ruins the look.


These bland colors and OK molded details almost makes the MicroMachine a better model to choose it you want something this small.


I know, I know, I know.  I forgot my own commentary about this being a cheap toy and made using cheap production methods.

What I find interesting is that some of the Furuta toys have become somewhat rare and as such, often are more expensive than thier professionally made counterparts.  Luckily this model is not one of them.  I say all of that because this really isn't that special of a model and as such, its price should stay low.

Hallmark

 
 
 

The 2001 Hallmark ornament is very well done.  It has a eye hook on it to allow you to hang it on a tree, however, the model draws it's power from the battery powered base so if you wish to light it, you will need to leave the base attached, which takes away from the beauty of it on your tree.


When you press the button on the base, the reactor on the station lights up and you hear Captain Sisko speak.  My one wish would be that you could just turn on the light without having him speak.  Perhaps a second button to hear his voice would have been a better idea.

As you can see from that last picture, the upper docking pylons and three locations on the docking ring have tiny hooks on them.  These hooks allow you to hang min-starship ornaments off of the station.  Hallmark produced two sets of these ships which gave you enough to hang something on all six of the hooks.  The first set was called the Ships Of Star Trek and was released in 1995.  This set consisted of a TOS Enterprise, the Enterprise D and a Klingon Bird Of Prey.  The second set was released in 2001 and was called Starfleet Legends and it consisted of an Enterprise E, a Voyager and a Defiant.

1995 Ships Of Star Trek

2001 Starfleet Legends

Although these mini ships are not to proper scale, I think it adds a little extra something to the Hallmark station that makes it cool to look at on your shelf.


The sculpted and molded details are actually quite good on this model.  All of the key components are represented on the station.


The docking ring really shows off the quality of the molded details.


The painted details are just as good and compliment the sculpted details very nicely.  I could not find anything glaringly wrong with this model.


At first, the hooks coming off the Hallmark model are a bit ugly and throw off the look of the model just a tiny bit.  And if you display the model without the extra starships, I could see it raise a few eyebrows.


Those hooks are also mounted to the upper pylons which also detract from the beautiful sculpt and paint work, but just a tiny bit.  The tabs on the bottom pylons are just weird looking, but a necessity in order to hold the model in it's stand.  If you display the model in it's stand, these bottom tabs are well hidden.  However, if you hang the model on a tree, and you will most likely do this without the stand, then they stand out like a sore thumb.

 

Putting those little nuisances aside, the Hallmark station is a nice buy.  If you invest in the extra ships, I think it becomes an even better collector's item.

Conclusion

And that wraps it up for the comparison and review part of my article.  Which brings us to the pricing portion of my article.  As usual, I will continue with the tradition of rounding up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices from eBay at the time of this article's (re)writing (March 2018).

Eaglemoss = $57
Furuta = $19
Hallmark (Without Ships) = $40
Hallmark 1995 Ships Of Star Trek = $10
Hallmark 2001 Starfleet Legends = $30
Micro Machine = $7

NOTE: Prices were researched last on March 1, 2018.  As of the writing of this article, you can also currently order the Eaglemoss model right from the company themselves for around $45 (shipping unknown).

We now come to the part of my article where I like to give you my opinion of which ship gives you the "best bang for the buck", which is my rough way of telling you which one is the best one to get, for the best price.  To put this in a nutshell, when I write these, I am trying to give my opinion of which model is the best for the least cost.

For this particular review, it is a tough call.  Eaglemoss is by far the better detailed model.  However, you can't deny that having the Hallmark light up version would be cool as well.  And they are both pretty competitively priced, for what you get with either model.  If I had to only choose one, I would probably go with the Hallmark one and then start saving my money to invest in the mini ships.  I still like looking at that model with all of them hanging on it.  


As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

So for now, "Live long and prosper!!!"



Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:
Eaglemoss     Furuta     Hallmark
MicroMachine     Comparative Shots

Other Reviewers Take On The Eaglemoss Model:
Some Kind Of Star Trek
Star Trek Starship Collection

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